20 YOUNG MEN & WOMEN WHO ARE SAVING THE PLANET
Ed. Emily Hunter. San Francisco: Conari Press. 2011.
REVIEWED BY: ALICE VAN WART
If we need proof that young people are neither apathetic nor in what is going on around the world, here we have it.
If anything, judging from the voices in this collection, young people around the world are passionately committed to counteracting the problems created by the powerful few who have squandered and destroyed much of the earth’s bounty.
Their voices need to be heard since their very commitment might just save the planet.
In The Next Eco-Warriors, Emily Hunter, daughter of Greenpeace founder Robert Hunter, has collected the stories of twenty-two people that redefine the meaning of activism.
Hunter’s purpose is a plea for a global movement that puts the value of the planet before the value of profit and progress.
Ranging in age from their early twenties to their thirties and geographically spanning the globe from North America to China, their stories are as diverse as their characters.
Hunter calls them the new global ‘Eco-warriors’, a term coined by her father.
The stories of these Eco-warriors prove beyond doubt that it is not just those with power who can effect change. As their stories show anyone who cares can be an Eco-warrior; it is a matter of passion and commitment.
To help make the world a better place to live, they tackle problems of climate change, energy use, overfishing, the disappearance of indigenous cultures, animal species, and various ecosystems.
Enei Begaye, a Dine activist uses protest to stop the coal mining that is destroying the land and culture of her her people in the south western United States.
Kevin Ochien, a young Kenyan, leads a peaceful climate movement not just in Kenya but across Africa. Win
Bo, a Chinese activist, started the first Greenpeace in mainland China, while African American Tanya Fields uses urban farming as a way of fighting poverty in her community of the Bronx in New York City.
Their tactics are as different as their goals; ranging from individual protest and group demonstration, to more radical actions of confrontation and subterfuge, as well as artistic expression to draw attention to the problems they see.
Australian Andy Riley first conceives his idea of Earth Hour in Sydney. Now it takes place around the globe.
The American Jamie Henn founds the movement 350.org to help lower carbon emissions.
Rob Stewart makes a documentary to reveal the brutality behind the shark fishing that supplies fins for shark fin soup, while Jo-Anne McArthur uses photography to reveal the cruelty animals often suffer in the name of fashion, fad, and sport.
Each story in this collection offers another example of the various ways we can all help save the planet.
As Hunter says in her introduction, “the world of revolution is open to everyone who wants to make a substantial difference.” As a collection, this book offers hope and inspiration to us all.
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, plugging into green matters! Share your story of how you are working to reduce carbon emissions, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!